This project site is situated approximately 45km east of Katanning (3.5hrs southeast of Perth). CNCF purchased the 404 hectare site in 2010 as part of our “trees for tomorrow” program. Trees for tomorrow is a revolving land fund model that enables CNCF to rehabilitate degraded rural land. We purchase, plant, register carbon rights and then offer the property for sale.
The property is often subject to flooding and high salinity due to being situated in a low drainage zone. This has, over time, led to the area becoming barren and vegetation struggling to survive.
This is where we come in. Through extensive monitoring and analysis, we select specific saline tolerant species suited best to these environments. Badgebup has had 2 plantings on the property, with the first 160ha in 2010 (which was replanted due to low success rate in 2011), followed by an additional 80ha in 2017. Both plantings used methods of direct seeds and seedlings, with seeds for 53 species having been collected previously from the site itself.
The monitoring for the 2010 planting consisted of 9 plots. Eight of these scored a growth rate of "Poor" when assessed - the lowest score possible. Seedling survival was very low in all areas, although some transects revealed as high as 78% survival rate. This highlights the varying soil types. Due to the failure of this first planting, a complete re-plant was scheduled for 2011.
Monitoring results conducted in 2018 assessed the 80ha planted in 2017, assessing twelve 15m x 15m plots. Results showed that the survival rate was variable but significant across the project site. It was split into 4 areas of main focus: Mallee Belt Paddock, Eastern Zone, Central Mounded Zone, Northwest Corner 'House Paddock'. Acacia species recruitment was noticeably dominant across all zones where sandy soils were present.
2019 monitoring made a return to the previous twelve plots assessed in 2018. It was made apparent that, as seen in previous projects, recruitment from the direct seeding in clay soils improves over time. These results showed that the area has successfully established communities over the two landscapes, resulting in approximately 390,000 trees and shrubs across the 80ha planted in 2017.
The initial failure of this project site can be put down to extreme soil types and a severe lack of rainfall. Even with some areas showing reasonable survival, it was important to replant as stressed trees don't hold carbon well. The success of the replant can come down to higher-saline tolerant plants and favourable weather conditions that year.
Furthermore, the establishment of wood communities across the area gives us an estimate of 27,600 tonnes of Australian Carbon Credit Units by year 15. This is calculated via the Australian Government's carbon-pool accumulation model, FullCAM. It is also estimated that the site has the potential to store 58,000 - 62,000 tonnes of carbon by year 50. Not only will this site become an important carbon sink but it will also increase biodiversity in the area and restore valued habitat.
Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.